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Al Jazeera's Readers on 9/11: 49.9% support bin Laden

By September 11, 2006

While Americans and others throughout the world commemorated the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Al Qaeda reportedly took the opportunity to issue new videotaped threats.

The tape was first aired on Al Jazeera network, and then on CNN. According to CNN, which aired the tape, the group, led by Osama bin Laden, issued its newest statement on Islamist web sites on Sunday, September 10. In it, Al Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman Al Zawahiri, warns that the American presence in the Arabian Gulf and Israel are likely to be attacked. However, the origins of the tape remain somewhat murky.

Meanwhile, the results of an Al Jazeera online poll (in Arabic) taken between September 7th and September 10th were released on the news site today. The results of the poll, to which 41,260 readers responded are thought provoking, to say the least:

1. Is the world more secure since September 11?

Yes: 4.2%

No: 95.8%

2. Do you support Osama bin Laden?

Yes: 49.9%

No: 50.1%

3. Do you believe the war in Iraq is a war against Islam?

Yes: 79.8%

No: 20.2%

4. Do you believe that there is a relationship between the war on terror and the war in Iraq?

Yes: 23.4%

No: 76.6%

5. Do you want to travel to the United States?

Yes: 27.6%

No: 72.4%


September 15, 2008 at 7:21 pm
(1) John says:

I knew all those moslems were terrists.

September 15, 2008 at 7:30 pm
(2) terrorism says:


The 2006 poll doesn’t reveal anything even remotely like the idea that any respondent to the poll is “a terrorist.” Your comment is inappropriate and incorrect.

Look again at the questions and you’ll see a variety of queries that mostly relate to perceptions of American actions in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, and toward the United States more generally.

The degree of stated support for bin Laden is troubling. However, it’s pretty difficult to tell from a “yes” or “no” question what people mean by their “yes” answer, and what exactly they support. They may be trying to say what they *don’t* support, by their answer.

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